Saturday, September 21, 2013

Refusing To Believe The Facts About Head Start

For the billions that have been spent on Head Start, there's no evidence at all that the program does what its supporters say it does.  In fact, there's no evidence at all that it has any effects after third grade.  Why should we spend billions for a program that doesn't have lasting results?

The lack of any results doesn't keep the bleeding hearts from keening about a cut:
Head Start programs in the Sacramento region began the school year with fewer preschoolers after federal leaders imposed across-the-board budget cuts in January.

Besides providing preschool education and child care, Head Start serves as a one-stop shop offering health screenings, meals, nutrition advice and access to social services. Advocates say the program is essential to giving impoverished children a chance to succeed once they start kindergarten...

The Head Start program has its critics. Republicans have argued that it costs too much and has not been effective, pointing to a 2010 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study that showed positive gains made by Head Start students “are largely absent by first grade for the program population as a whole.”

But Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Childhood Education Research at Rutgers University, said research on the program conducted every few years shows Head Start is improving steadily.

The federal Head Start program is of higher quality “than the rest of the programs that kids were in,” Barnett said. “If you look at the state-run programs, they are all over the place. Some are horrible.”
I don't see how Mr. Barnett's statement demonstrates improvement in the program or a counter to "Republicans" who argue that it "costs too much  and has not been effective."  I think it's just a teacher welfare program and a socialist hook.

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